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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 12, 2016

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 Movie Review: Offers Good Clean Fun About A Tightly Knit Greek Family Where Members Stick Together

IN 2002, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (produced by Rita Wilson and husband Tom Hanks) became such a big sleeper hit earning $250 million in the U.S.A. alone, so we’re wondering why it took so long (14 years) before they came up with the sequel. If you enjoyed the original and its jokes about families with Greek heritage, then no doubt you’ll also be delighted by “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2”.

The first one ended with Toula (Nia Vardalos, who also wrote the screenplay) marrying Ian (John Corbett). Now they’re back, along with all the members of the Portokalos family who made the original very entertaining with their own eccentricities and idiosyncrasies, like Aunt Voula (Andrea Martin), who still keeps on giving too much information about her sex life, her strange ailments and tracing the root of any given word. Plus they introduce a new young character, Paris (Elena Kampouris), the only child and teenage daughter of Toula and Ian.

After so many years, the marriage of Toula and Ian has lost its magic and they’re to bring back its spark. Toula’s dad, Gus (Michael Constantine), while attempting to trace his family’s roots back to Alexander the Great, discovers that he and his wife Maria (Lainie Kazan) were never really officially married. This is because the priest who tied the knot for them 50 years ago forgot to sign their marriage certificate. This, but naturally, will require an even bigger wedding so that they can officially exchange I do’s.

Meantime, her family wants Paris to find a nice Greek boy for a future husband and tries to hook her up with the son of their friends Anna and George (Rita Wilson and John Stamos). But Paris instead chooses to ask the boy’s shy older brother, Bennett (Alex Wolff), to be her date to the prom night after he was rejected by another girl.

Toula is heartbroken when she learns that Paris is not that interested in romance but actually wants to rebel from her very tightly knit but overbearing Greek family, where everyone annoyingly wants to get into everyone’s personal affairs. Paris plans to leave their home in Chicago and go to a college somewhere very far away from her parents’ nest, like New York.

The movie shows several amusing situations, like the chauvinistic Gus trying to learn how to use a computer for the first time and his long held macho expectations being questioned by his wife’s new feministic views. Aunt Voula, as usual, is hilarious as she takes charge of Paris’ date night and in planning another wedding.
Director Kirk Jones knows how to make his gags work and, overall, the movie is a lot more enjoyable than most inane romantic comedies we get to watch these days. Some may look at it as a sitcom, but it works to its advantage because of the hook of heartwarming characters who have become familiar to us, only presented to a new level, that of the next generation. There’s dancing and jubilation again, done Greek style.
In movies and TV shows today, what we often see are dysfunctional families where to each his own rules. So it’s nice to view a movie like “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2” that provides good clean fun and where family members continue to stick together and help each other in a very positive way. We won’t be surprised if there’d be a “Fat Greek Wedding 3”.